Thursday, June 30, 2011

Artist: Change Of Heart, Album: Smile, Song: There You Go

"Earth speaks in many voices."  Change Of Heart were a rock band from Toronto that formed in the early eighties.  They were on the scene for more than a decade and recruited a number of well known musicians during that time.  The one constant member of the band was Ian Blurton.  For myself, this band hit my radar in the early nineties when music changed and anything remotely grunge was the craze.  Change of Heart were one of many strong bands to emerge at that time like Glueleg (see blog 10/8/10), Mystery Machine (see blog 6/2/11), Sloan, King Cobb Steelie (see blog 1/15/11) and the list goes on and on and on.  Smile was a pivotal release in 1992 with Cargo Records.  The song, There You Go, garnered the band their one and only Top 40 single.  The band would release six albums before breaking up in 1997.  They were obvious college and alternative radio mainstays but as well, produced a few videos for their singles which helped the band gain some national exposure.  One of the last incarnations of the band from 1997 actually reformed in 2009 to play live.  Ian has gone on to apply his skills on the production side of the music business as well as form a few other hard rocking bands like Blurtonia (see blog 11/22/10) and his current band, C'mon.  For the last couple of months, C'mon has been offering one free download per week of a song from their most recent album.  You can follow them at  The band is also on a cross Canada tour at the moment and will be in Manitoba and Saskatchewan this weekend.  You can hear the song, There You Go, on You Tube (  The Change Of Heart discography is a difficult find today.  At the time of this blog, there were copies trading on Amazon between $10 and $100.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Artist: The Lucky Ones, Album: The Booze Sessions, Song: Raise A Glass

The Lucky Ones are a punk rock band from St.Catharines, Ontario.  They are Steve Stumble, Chris Nowicki, Robbie Knuckles and Matt Murphy.  They are signed to indie label, Stumble Records, and released their debut EP, The Booze Sessions, in the fall of 2010.  Vocalist Steve Stumble was the front man for another nineties band called The Sick Boys.  They were a fixture on the punk rock scene in Southern Ontario for many years and opened for Rancid at one point.  Steve started his own label, Stumble Records, in 1998, and now dedicates much of his time to finding and developing other like minded musicians.  He has a strong roster of bands currently like the Matadors (see blog 9/1/10) and he's done some great work promoting music in the Niagara community over the years.  He also has some great videos up on You Tube of both the Lucky Ones and his former band, the Sick Boys.  After a decade away from the mic, Steve was lured back with an intent on having fun again and you kinda get a sense of that spirit on this track, Raise A Glass.  These guys are playing for the love of rock and roll and nothing else.  Straight ahead, kick your ass in, punk rock with a capital P.  The band is working on their sophomore release which should be a full length this time around.  You can keep tabs on them at or alternatively at  The debut EP, The Booze Sessions, can be purchased on Itunes.  You can hear the song, Raise A Glass, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Artist: The Shakers, Album: Weekend, Song: Let's Face It

The Shakers were a garage rock band from Hamilton, Ontario.  They started out in 1979 and lasted until 1983.  They were signed to local indie label, Warpt Records.  They were Rick Andrew, Claude DeRoches, Dave Rave (see blog 10/19/10) and Dan Gibbons.  The album, Weekend, was their final release in 1983 and was produced by the late great, Jack Richardson (Guess Who, Alice Cooper, Bob Seger, Max Webster).  The Shakers originated from the same cool scene as the Teenage Head (see blog 10/3/10) and the Florida Razors (see blog 3/5/11).  Dave Rave actually worked very closely with Teenage Head before and after the Shakers.  Dave Rave would also continue to record on his own as well as with various bands throughout the years.  He has also become a highly sought after session musician and writer.  He has worked with everyone from Alex Chilton (Big Star, Box Tops) and Daniel Lanois (see blog 9/16/10) to the Trews.  The song, Let's Face It, is one of my all time favourite tracks and it is from the Weekend release.  You can hear the song on You Tube (  Dave hasn't lost a step in the 30+ years he's been on the scene.  He has a new album out that he is currently supporting.  He was in London, England last month and made his way up from the U.S. to play NXNE in Toronto a couple of weeks ago.  He will be off to Italy for a couple of weeks before returning to North America in mid July.  You can follow him at  There was a Shakers self titled release in 1995 which was then re-released with Bullseye Records in 2001.  It was a compilation of their work and it also included this track.  However that release, much like the Weekend album, is very rare today.  At the time of this blog there were copies of the self titled compilation trading on Ebay for $15.  You can also find the song, Let's Face It, on the Dave Rave Anthology Vol.1 which is available from Amazon.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Artist: The Burning Hell, Album: Tick Tock, Song: I Love The Things That People Make

The Burning Hell is a ukulele player by the name of Mathias Kom.  He usually enlists the support of a few musical colleagues to record and tour.  Sometimes the band can expand to more than 15 persons.  He is a quirky and comical individual who is highly entertaining and extremely hard working.  He is on tour in Europe right now playing shows in countries like Germany, Austria, Finland, Lithuania and Latvia and should be back home in Canada by mid-July.  Upon his return, he will begin playing shows in Vancouver and work his way east across Canada.  Mathias was originally from Peterborough, Ontario but recently relocated to Newfoundland.  He released his debut, Tick Tock, in 2006 and has a new album released this year.  To date he has six full length releases and is signed to Weewerk Records.  You can follow him at  I Love The Things That People Make, has probably become one of his most recognizable songs to date and it is from his debut release.  You can hear it on You Tube (  There is also some live footage of him performing available on You Tube which is worth checking out.  You can purchase the debut album at  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Artist: Ugly Ducklings, Album: Somewhere Outside, Song: Hey Mama (Keep Your Big Mouth Shut)

The Ugly Ducklings were one of the first garage rock acts to rise up from the streets of Yorkville in Toronto during the mid sixties.  Their music was fashioned after the Rolling Stones and Mick Jagger himself, would later proclaim them as his favourite Canadian band.  They had two popular singles in 1966 and 1967 entitled, Nothin' and Gaslight.  The latter was actually first recorded in New York with only the lead vocalist of the Ugly Ducklings who was in turn backed by the Tonight Show Band.  By 1968, the band was done, however, a full length release, entitled, Somewhere Outside, was released which included all their singles.  The album also featured some well known covers like My Little Red Book, I Ain't Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore and this track, previously recorded by Bo Diddley and the Pretty Things, Hey Mama (Keep Your Big Mouth Shut).  They do a nice job with it and you can hear it on You Tube (  The band would reform in 1980 to play some shows and release another album entitled, Off The Wall.  Their 1968 debut release was re-mastered in the nineties.  As well, a couple of compilations have been released since and have combined tracks from their 1968 release along with other rare and unreleased material.  One such self-titled compilation is available for download on Itunes.  You can check out their legacy for yourself at  Lastly, Pacemaker Entertainment has two new remastered albums set for release that feature rare, unreleased live and studio tracks (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!  

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Artist: The Hood, Album: K-tel Canadian Mint 22 Original Hits, Song: 'Cause We're In Love

There is a bit of mystery behind the one hit wonder band called, The Hood.  They released a cover version of a Canadian song originally released in 1960 by a band called The Beaumarks, entitled, 'Cause We're In Love.  There doesn't seem to be any information on who was in the band although the vocalist was well known, singer songwriter, Terry Jacks, and it was released on his own label, Goldfish Records in 1974.  One year earlier, Terry had a monster hit that went to #1 on the U.S. Billboard Charts called, Seasons In The Sun.  A song that he tried desperately to have both the Beach Boys and Edward Bear (see blog 6/15/11) record instead of himself.  From what I've read about him, he didn't enjoy the limelight at all and perhaps after the extreme media attention he received from Seasons In The Sun, a release under a pseudonym isn't hard to understand.  Terry's musical roots go back to the early sixties in this country and he was the first Canadian to ever have two singles reach #1 on the U.S. Billboard Chart.  The first was a song called, Which Way You Goin' Billy?, during his time with the band, The Poppy Family.  The second, of course, was Seasons In The Sun.  Terry would continue recording well into the eighties before retreating and focusing on the environment. This particular single is very hard to find and I picked up a copy off an old K-Tel compilation.  At the time of this blog, there was one 45 record available for sale on Ebay for $20.  You can hear the song, 'Cause We're In Love, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Artist: Alias, Album: Alias, Song: Haunted Heart

Alias were a rock supergroup formed in the late eighties.  The members were part of two former major rock acts.  Roger Fisher, Steve Fossen and Mike DeRosier were original members of the band, Heart.  Heart were actually from Seattle but a rather twisted tale involving the Vietnam War and a draft dodging guitarist, led to their first major recording, Dreamboat Annie, in Vancouver.  They would win a Juno as a result in 1977.  That same year, President Carter granted amnesty to draft dodgers which allowed the band to return to the U.S..  Getting back to the other half of Alias though.  Freddy Curci and Steve DeMarchi were in a band called Sheriff during the early eighties.  They had a monster hit in 1982 called, When I'm With You, from their one and only self titled release.  The band would break up and two of the members Arnold Lanni and Wolf Hassel, would go on to form Frozen Ghost.  However, when a Las Vegas DJ started playing the song, When I'm With You again.  Capitol Records decided to re-release the album in 1989 and it hit #1 on the U.S. Billboard charts.  Curci and DeMarchi tried to reform the band and when they couldn't, they formed Alias with the former members of Heart.  They released their self titled debut in 1990 and the result was another AOR masterpiece that went gold in the U.S. and platinum in Canada.  Haunted Heart was one of the singles off this release and you can check out the original video on You Tube (  The band recorded a follow up album in 1992 but it was never released due to the changing style of music.  However, in 2009, the band finally released the album with EMI.  The new album includes an acoustic cover of the Sheriff hit, When I'm With You.  You can follow the band at  The self titled debut and their new release can be purchased from Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!  

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Artist: Magneta Lane, Album: Gambling With God, Song: Lady Bones

Magneta Lane are a 3pc band from Toronto, Ontario.  They are Lexi Valentine, Nadia King and French.  This all girl group has a melancholy rock and roll sound.  They started playing together in 2003 and were signed immediately to Paper Bag Records.  They released their debut EP, The Constant Lover, in 2004.  Thanks to the medium of video and tireless touring, the band has built a strong following for their music over the last seven years.  They followed up their EP with their first full length in 2006 and it was produced by the Canadian electronic duo, MSTRKRFT (see blog 9/7/10).  Gambling With God is their third release from 2009 and it finds the band with a new label, Last Gang Records.  They went back to Jon Drew, the producer they worked with on their debut EP.  He has worked on some great releases from The Arkells, Tokyo Police Club and Fucked Up.    Lady Bones is the fantastic lead single from this album.  Magneta Lane have played shows across Canada, the U.S., Europe and even Japan.  You can follow them at  They just released a new single with video that can be seen on their website and appear to be recording at the moment.  You can watch the video for the song, Lady Bones, on You Tube (  The album, Gambling With God, is available from Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Artist: Faunts, Album: Feel.Love.Thinking.Of., Song: Feel.Love.Thinking.Of.

The Faunts are a band from Edmonton, Alberta.  They are brothers, Rob, Steven and Tim Batke, Paul Arnusch and Scott Gallant.  They formed in 2000 and released their debut album in 2005.  Their sophomore release was an EP designed as a score for three independent films.  However, the title track, M4 (Part II), was used in the Xbox 360 game, Mass Effect, which opened the band's music up to a wider gaming audience.  That combined with a really cool video ( which garnered them some good rotation on MTV, sent the band out touring.  They released a remix album of previously recorded material to bridge the gap between M4 and their fourth release, Feel.Love.Thinking.Of..  They are purveyors of moody electronic rock and disperse heavy layers of sound.  Feel.Love.Thinking.Of. was released in 2009 with San Francisco label, Friendly Fire Recordings.  You can check out their video for this song on You Tube (  You can purchase this album on Itunes.  You can follow the band at  Thanks for reading and enjoy!  

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Artist: Randypeters, Album: You Thought I Was Foolin', Song: Made'r Happy (Woe, Woe, Woe)

The Randypeters were a rock band from Ottawa, Ontario that started playing together in 1980.  The band had a ten year run on the indie scene and had some line up changes along the way as well.  However, the two mainstays and high school friends were Pieter Botman and Rand Peppler (Rand+Pieter = Randypeter....get it).  These guys were a bit old time rock and roll, blues, rockabilly with a whole lotta punk attitude.  They were raw rock and roll and built a reputation as such in the bars of Ottawa and beyond.  They had a limited discography during those years.  They released their debut EP in 1985 and then this follow up EP in 1988, entitled, You Thought I Was Foolin'.  However, the band did lend their music to a number of independent compilations over the years.  They played and toured constantly and at one point, did a cross Canada tour.  They opened for the Cramps, Rough Trade and Eight Seconds (see blog 9/28/10).  Some of the band's finer moments have been restored on You Tube including one of their battle of the bands contests entitled, Rock Wars, that was broadcasted on CBC.  They also did a mini documentary on themselves (  Made'r Happy (Woe, Woe, Woe) has a dark rolling harmonica driven melody that finishes the album.  You can hear it on You Tube (  The band recently reformed last year to play some shows in Ottawa.  The album, You Thought I Was Foolin', is a difficult find today.  At the time of this blog, there were copies trading on Ebay for $20.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Artist: Panurge, Album: Walking In The Fog, Song: It's All Inside Your Mind

Panurge are a rock band from Vancouver that emerged in 2000.  They generated a great deal of buzz when they released their debut album on the web only, entitled, Erectangle, in 2001.  They followed that up with a remix album called Pythagorhythms before releasing their major label debut, Throw Down The Reins, with Nettwerk Records in 2004.  Despite being on a major label, the band maintained creative control and produced the album themselves.  They also expanded their regional fan base by embarking on a cross Canada tour.  Walking In The Fog was their last release in 2006 with Last Gang Records.  They are Daniel Byrne, Chris Lovell, C.L. McLaughlin and Jon Schubert.  Their sound is sixties' style pop melodies combined with electronic elements.  The latter a result of having a resident DJ in the band.  Unfortunately, there isn't a lot written about the band beyond the year they released this album which makes me believe that they could be on hiatus.  You can keep tabs on them at  DJ Daniel Byrne is a partner/producer at FaderMaster Studios in Vancouver (  The song, It's All Inside Your Mind, is a deep album cut with a groovy, British feel to it.  You can hear the song on You Tube (  You can purchase the album, Walking In The Fog, on Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Artist: Charlee, Album: Charlee, Song: Lord Knows I've Won

Charlee were a three piece rock band from Montreal led by guitar virtuoso Walter Rossi.  Walter's first gig was with Wilson Pickett in the mid to late sixties when he was only eighteen.  He toured all over the U.S. and Canada with the Wicked Pickett before deciding to return to Montreal and aid his ailing father.  He also spent some time with Buddy Miles, the drummer for Electric Flag and Jimi Hendrix's Band Of Gypsies.  He's jammed with Hendrix and opened for the Doors and Steppenwolf.  This particular release by Charlee was in 1972 and was the band's only album I believe.  He was actually courted by a number of well known musicians who wanted him to play in their bands including David Bowie, Three Dog Night and Janis Joplin.  One listen to the song, Lord Knows I've Won, and you will know why.  I believe this track was released as a single from the album as well.  Walter would go on to release seven solo albums, his most recent in 2004.  He was nominated for Most Promising Male Vocalist of the Year in 1978 and 1980.  He lost to David Bradstreet in 1978 but won the award in 1980.  You can read about Walter at  You can  hear the song, Lord Knows I've Won, on You Tube (  Charlee's self titled debut is a difficult find today.  It can be purchased on CD thanks to a German re-issue.  However, there are two possible album cover graphics for this release which can get a bit confusing.  The version available on CD uses the U.S. release graphic depicting the band in cartoon form.  At the time of this blog, there were copies trading on Amazon and Ebay between $20 and $60.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Artist: Pure, Album: Pureafunalia, Song: Spiritual Pollution

Pure were a rock band from Vancouver that surfaced in the early nineties.  They were Jordy Birch, Todd Simko, Mark Henning, Dave Hadley and Leigh Grant.  Birch, Simko and Grant were in a previous band together called, After All.  They had released one album with Nettwerk before breaking up.  They added Henning and Hadley and eventually became Pure.  One of their songs, Greedy, was featured on the Cool World soundtrack starring Brad Pitt and Kim Basinger.  It was an adult animation film that didn't do very well at the box office but it had a great soundtrack featuring bands like the Cult and Moby.  This certainly helped prime the listening masses for their next step which was an EP and then their full length debut, entitled, Pureafunalia, in 1992 with Warner/Reprise.  The album was produced by ex-Talking Heads guitarist, Jerry Harrison.  Spiritual Pollution is one of many great songs off their debut and it was released as a single.  The band released two albums with Warner before being cut loose.  They toured extensively in the U.S., Australia and Canada.  Following their sophomore release, they continued on with smaller independent labels until their last release in 1998.  Birch and Henning are in a new band called Guilty About Girls (  Simko is in the music production business now and has worked with bands like the Salteens (see blog 4/30/11).  You can read about the Pure legacy at  You can purchase Pureafunalia on Itunes.  You can hear the song, Spiritual Pollution, on Vimeo (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Artist: Gino Soccio, Album: S-Beat, Song: Steady Operator

Gino Soccio was an artist from Montreal, Quebec who made a name for himself in the disco/dance genres of the late seventies and early eighties.  However, what separated Gino from his peers was the fact that he was a multi-instrumentalist that could play everything from drums to keyboards.  In 1978, he acted on an opportunity to contribute to a project entitled, Kebekelektrik, and assumed complete creative and productive control of the album.  From there, he realized the freedom and popularity of disco and began producing his own albums.  His first was in 1979, entitled, Outline, and the single, Dancer, became a top 50 hit in the U.S..  He was nominated for Composer as well as Instrumental Artist of the year Junos but lost both to Frank Mills that year.  S-Beat was his sophomore release in 1980.  Steady Operator is a deep album cut that mixes reggae, disco and new wave.  It is a really phenomenal track that shows how Gino was so ahead of his time in broadening the boundaries of dance music.  This transformation of  traditional disco was later assumed by many rock bands who branded their music New Wave in the early eighties.  Human League, Yaz, Depeche Mode, M and Ultravox are all examples of bands that made careers out of this trend in music.  Gino released five solo albums between 1979 and 1984.  All are available for download from Itunes.  You can hear the song, Steady Operator, on Vimeo (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!  

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Artist: The Kramdens, Album: Radio For Now, Song: The Train

"This is the beginning, this is where it starts.  We're here to burn some bridges and we're here to break some hearts."  The Kramdens are a 5pc band from Guelph, Ontario.  They've been kicking around the indie scene for close to 20 years now.  Radio For Now was their release in 1999 with indie label, DROG.  The members for this release were Craig Norris, Steve Knox, William Kee, Iain Grant and Robert Leader.  Grant was replaced by Mike Plater Findlay in later years.  Lead singer and keyboard player, Craig Norris is also a CBC Radio 3 host.  The band's most recent release was in 2008, with Sunny Lane Records.  The band is currently playing shows in Ontario and has released two Wilco cover songs as a tribute to the late, Jay Bennett of Wilco.  Both are available for free from the band's website.  You can follow them at  My personal favourite off their album, Radio For Now, is a tune called The Train.  It's definitely one of the harder tracks on the release with clever lyricism and some dirty rock and roll guitars.  This song chugs like a locomotive.  You can hear it on You Tube (  While their new material is available through Itunes, this particular release remains a difficult find today.  Strangely enough, the band doesn't appear to acknowledge their earlier work on their website either.  At the time of this blog, there was one copy available on Amazon for $10.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Artist: Edward Bear, Album: Bearings, Song: Sinking Ship

Edward Bear were a three piece band that migrated from the coffee house circuit of Yorkville in Toronto, to main stages across the continent.  They were Larry Evoy, Paul Weldon and Danny Marks originally.  However, the band did go through some major line up changes and Evoy was the only constant member through those years.  The band released 4 albums between 1969 and 1973.  They signed with Capitol Records and released their debut in 1969, entitled, Bearings.  Their sound was a mix of folk, pop and blues.  The latter was more a result of Marks' influence on some of the band's work.  The band had some major hits in Canada and the U.S. and this particular album went gold.  Their first hit was the opening track from this album, entitled, You, Me And Mexico.  The tune, Sinking Ship, is another deep album cut that really shows the band's ability to craft sixties style pop music.  Marks would eventually leave the band and go on to great success as a blues guitarist.  He has also toured as a member of the Average White Band and has done session work for everybody from Stephen Stills to Bo Diddley.  Edward Bear would go on to win a couple of Junos in 1973 for their later work and likely biggest hit, Last Song.  Sadly though, for a major Canadian act, their discography is very hard to come by these days, despite having two compilations of their work released by Capitol Records.  However, both do not include the track Sinking Ship.  At the time of this blog, there was one copy of Bearings trading on Ebay for $50.  You can hear the song, Sinking Ship, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Artist: The Deli Llamas, Album: Gumball, Song: Stenner Road

"The hand of fate, the force of will.  The gentle teacher's learning still."  The Deli Llamas were a five piece band from Toronto.  They were Paul and Paula Ackerley, Bruce Adamson, Jamie Pugh and Howard Rabkin.  They were an indie band from the nineties that I first discovered on a festival sampler.  Years later, I was able to procure a copy of Gumball which was released in 1997.  Stenner Road is a deep album track with some wicked Stevie Wonder like keyboard work.  I wouldn't say this song is indicative of the entire album since the band appeared to be "creatively unbound" with various styles coming through in their music.  Guitarist Bruce Adamson played for a short while with the band, Staggered Crossing (see blog 1/12/11).  Bassist Howard Rabkin appears to have a long musical resume and is playing with a band called the Weathered Kings now (  Paul Ackerley was the singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer of this album.  I believe he is working in film and television.  The album, Gumball, is a difficult find today.  At the time of this blog, there were copies trading on Ebay between $10 and $20.  You can hear the song, Stenner Road, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Artist: Buddy And The Boys, Album: Buddy, Song: Turn This Train Around

Buddy And The Boys were a collective of musicians from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, that formed to record a rock opera of sorts in 1977.  The theme of the album was the familiar plight of young people from Cape Breton, who were often faced with the decision to leave home in order to find work elsewhere, yet always longing to one day return home.  "Buddy" was a term that they used to describe a new acquaintance so the band assumed the title as well.  The Boys were Max MacDonald, Leon Dubinsky, Berkley Lamey and Ralph Dillon, who had all played together previously, in a band called Homebrew.  They were joined by 20 or so other musicians from the Cape Breton musical community and recorded their debut, Buddy.  One of those 20 or so musicians was Matt Minglewood.  I wasn't sure what to expect when I stumbled upon this record but it is pure gold.  There are some "Freebird" wailing guitars on the opening track, Turn This Train Around, that will ignite any classic rock soul.  Beautiful stuff.  As the story goes, the band would release one more live album in 1979 and although they had offers to move to Toronto to further their careers, they decided not to leave the Cape.  Dubinsky still lives there today with his family and achieved some notoriety in the early nineties when The Rankin Family recorded his song, Rise Again.  Of all the obscure albums I've blogged about, I was expecting the information search on this one to be tremendously difficult.  However, there is a wonderful site dedicated to the classic rock history of Nova Scotia that exists and you can check it out at  This particular album was apparently remastered and released on CD during the nineties but even those copies remain a rarity today.  At the time of this blog, there were no copies available for sale online.  You can hear the song, Turn This Train Around, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Artist: Mushroom Trail, Album: My Medicine, Song: Pine Valley

"In the still water, we lay in silent awe.  Mushroom Trail were a rock band from Vancouver.  They were Paul D'eath, Paul Gillespie, Mike Ottoson, Jon Hartline and Russ Hawkes.  They were signed with A&M Records and released their album, My Medicine in 1993.  Their sound was somewhat unique in that it straddled the line between the popular new genre, grunge, as well as hard rock.  Vancouver's close proximity to Seattle had an obvious effect on the music generated within the city during the early nineties and this band was certainly one of the best at it.  I find the vocals eerily reminiscent of Guns n' Roses at times.  The band had a couple of singles off this release and produced videos that achieved rotation on the nation's music station, Much Music.  There isn't much else written about the band and I assume as styles began to change, the band likely broke up.  Lead singer Paul D'eath played in a few projects following Mushroom Trail including his most recent band, Devils 'n' Angels.  They released their first album in 2009 and it is available through Itunes.  You can follow them at  My Medicine is a difficult find today.  At the time of this blog, there were copies trading on Amazon between $10 and $85.  You can watch the video for the song, Pine Valley, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Artist: Michie Mee And L.A. Luv, Album: Jamaican Funk - Canadian Style, Song: Jamaican Funk Canadian Style

Michie Mee is a Jamaican born artist that was raised in Toronto.  She received a big career boost in 1985 when Boogie Down Productions brought her on stage to perform at one of their Toronto shows.  She would team up with DJ L.A. Luv and in 1987, they would be featured on a Canadian hip hop compilation produced by BDP's Scott La Rock.  The duo would sign with a subsidiary of Atlantic Records known as First Priority Music and drop their debut album, Jamaican Funk-Canadian Style, in 1991.  The album is noteworthy for a couple of reasons.  One, Michie Mee became the first Canadian female MC to be signed to a major label.  Two, the album/song was nominated for a Juno in two consecutive years.  In 1991, it was nominated for Best R&B/Soul Recording but lost out to Simply Majestic and B. Kool.  Then, in 1992, it was nominated for Best Rap Recording but again, lost out to the Dream Warriors (see blog 7/27/10).  Coincidentally, King Lou from the Dream Warriors was one of the producers on this album and L.A. Luv would later leave Michie and join the Dream Warriors.  Often dubbed, the queen of Canadian hip hop, Michie was as equally talented as her peers south of the border.  Namely, Monie Love, Salt n' Pepa, MC Lyte and Queen Latifah.  She has shared the stage with some of the biggest names in Hip Hop.  She is a true original who continued to push her own as well as the genre's boundaries.  Aside from appearing in film and television (see Solitair Drop The Beat blog 3/20/11), she also fronted a band in the nineties called Raggadeath, that was a mix of hard rock and reggae.  Today, Michie has her own multi-media promotions company that seeks to aid local talent and guide them in their careers in music.  Michie released her sophomore album in 2000 and recently released a new single in 2009.  You can follow her at  You can watch the original video for the song, Jamaican Funk Canadian Style, on You Tube (  The album, Jamaican Funk-Canadian Style, is a difficult find today.  At the time of this blog, there were copies trading on Amazon between $11 and $50.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!   

Friday, June 10, 2011

Artist: Panic & The Rebel Emergency, Album: Captured By A Vision, Song: Wander Far Away

"There's no boundary for your thoughts.  Let your mind wander far away."  As the story goes, Toronto rock band, The Rebel Emergency, were looking for a studio to record their debut album in and found one in the Bronx, New York.  One of the resident producers at the studio was a reggae artist named, Panic.  Following a recording session, Panic and the band decided to jam which led to the recording of an album.  That album was Captured By A Vision and it was released in 2005.  It is a melting pot of reggae, rock and ska.  One of the more relaxed tracks is a tune called Wander Far Away.  The band played shows and festivals in the U.S., Jamaica as well as Canada in support of this release and received a great deal of positive press.  Panic decided to leave the band for personal reasons following this release.  The Rebel Emergency returned in 2008 with their debut EP that contains re-recorded versions of some of the songs from Captured By A Vision.  In 2009, they released their first full length album of new material.  The band is set to release their third album this year.  You can follow them at  You can hear the song, Wander Far Away, on You Tube (  You can purchase this album on Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Artist: Pigeon-Hole, Album: And The One They Call Lightning, Song: We're Not Gonna Take It

"We're not gonna take it, no, we ain't gonna take it.  We're not gonna take it anymore."  Pigeon-Hole were a four piece band from Quebec.  They were Isabelle Fahmy, Natasha Szuber, Adam Blinick and Wade Manricks.  They were signed to Aquarius Records and released, And The One They Call Lightning, in 2002.  The album was recorded in Quebec as well as British Columbia and featured the support of Kinnie Starr (see blog 12/4/10) and Bob Egan.  Bob Egan has played guitar in bands like Wilco and Blue Rodeo.  One of the two bonus tracks on this album is a cover of the Twisted Sister classic, We're Not Gonna Take It.  The song was an eighties heavy metal staple which crossed over to the pop charts in 1984 and peaked just shy of the Billboard Top 20.  It was the band's highest charting single and Pigeon-Hole do an inventive folk like cover of the popular song that is worth checking out.  You can hear the song on You Tube (  There isn't much written about the band but I do know they had at least two albums released.  This particular release is a difficult find today.  At the time of this blog, there was one copy trading on Amazon for $10.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Artist: Hugh Dillon And Swamp Baby, Album: Hard Core Logo Soundtrack, Song: China White (Ten Buck F**k)

Hard Core Logo was a movie about a fictional punk band and their attempt to reunite and tour Canada one last time.  It was based on a novel by Michael Turner and was directed by Canadian filmmaker, Bruce McDonald.  Bruce had already begun making a name for himself on the indie film circuit with some earlier works like Highway 61 and Dance Me Outside.  He is also a strong supporter and fan of Canadian music and as a result, a number of his films have excellent soundtracks.  Hard Core Logo captured that aspect on a completely different level though.  A lot of it had to do with the actor playing the lead singer in the band which was Hugh Dillon.  Hugh was already well known to Canadians as the front man for the Headstones, a platinum selling band in their own right.  He was edgy, gritty and punk rock to the core.  A perfect fit for the leading role.  He not only acted in the film but recorded most of the songs on the soundtrack as well.  His backing musicians were a punk band called, Swamp Baby, from Ontario.  The song, China White (Ten Buck F**k), was written by the soundtrack's producer Peter J. Moore and Swamp Baby vocalist, Steven Cowal.  Steven relegated himself to backup singer for this recording.  You can hear the song on You Tube (  Hugh Dillon has moved more permanently into acting these days but recently released a solo album.  You can follow him at  Bruce McDonald has been very busy as well.  He continues to make movies with musical themes.  He recently produced a movie about the Broken Social Scene as well as a Hard Core Logo sequel involving Die Mannequin and lastly, Trigger, a movie about two female friends who start a band.  I don't think you could call Hard Core Logo a box office smash but for an independent film it had quite an impact at home and abroad.  Quentin Tarantino bought the U.S. distribution rights for the movie and it is often cited as one of the top five Canadian movies of all time.  The movie also spawned a tribute disc that was released around the same time and featured bands like 54-40, The Odds and The Pursuit Of Happiness.  Sadly though, both the soundtrack and the tribute disc are difficult to acquire today.  At the time of this blog, there were copies trading on Amazon between $15 and $175.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Artist: Coney Hatch, Album: Outa Hand, Song: Too Far Gone

Coney Hatch were a rock band from Toronto that started out in the early eighties.  They were Andy Curran (see blog 12/2/10), Carl Dixon, Steve Shelski and Dave Ketchum.  Their popular live show eventually caught the ear of fellow Canadian rocker, Kim Mitchell, who helped the band sign with Anthem Records and produced their debut album in 1982.  That album reached gold status in Canada and was full of major rock and roll anthems like Hey Operator and Monkey Bars.  The band toured the U.S. and Canada and opened for bands like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden.  Outa Hand was their second release in 1983.  The song, Too Far Gone, is a deep album cut and a personal favourite.  You can hear it on You Tube (  The band would release one more album in 1985 before calling it quits.  They have reformed at various times over the last couple of decades.  A retrospective was released in 1993 that features all of their hits but does not include this track.  You can purchase the album, Outa Hand, on Itunes.  Both Carl Dixon and Andy Curran have released albums during the years since Coney Hatch's demise.  Carl has actually toured as a member of the Guess Who and April Wine as well.  You can follow Carl at  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Artist: Imaginary Cities, Album: Temporary Resident, Song: Ride This Out

Imaginary Cities is a duo from Winnipeg, Manitoba.  They are Rusty Matyas and Marti Sarbit.  Rusty is no stranger to the Canadian music scene.  He had earlier success in a rock band called The Waking Eyes and more recently, has played with The Weakerthans.  He was doing sound at a local bar the night Marti and her Motown cover band were playing.  From there, the two musicians began collaborating and by the fall of 2010, they released their debut EP on Hidden Pony Records.  In February of this year, they dropped their first full length, entitled, Temporary Resident.  Without a doubt, one of the finest albums released this year thus far.  Ride This Out, is one of many strong songs on this album.  They recently had a video completed for the song by label mate, Jeremy Fisher (see blog 8/14/10).  Jeremy has made a name for himself with his own You Tube videos and music.  You can check it out on You Tube (  The band is playing some shows in New York before the NXNE festival in Toronto.  Following that, they will play shows across Canada this summer and then off to Germany in the Fall.  You can follow them at  Temporary Resident is available for download on Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!  

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Artist: Prism, Album: Young And Restless, Song: Young And Restless

"Young and restless, running out of control."  Prism were a rock band from Vancouver that began recording in the mid to late seventies.  However, the band's members could be linked to numerous rock and jazz bands from the late sixties Vancouver music scene.  Their self titled debut in 1977 spawned huge Canadian hits like Spaceship Superstar and Take Me To The Kaptin.  The band at that time, included future music heavyweights like songwriter Jim Vallance as well as producer Bruce Fairbairn.  The band toured Canada and the U.S. in their prime and were signed to GRT Records for most of their career.  They had another huge release in 1979 entitled Armageddon which is likely very familiar to a lot of Canadians.  The title track was written about the chaos the band witnessed in Memphis on the first anniversary of Elvis Presley's death.  Another interesting piece about that release was the collaboration with a very young Bryan Adams, who contributed his songwriting.  This would lead to his own record deal and subsequent successful solo career.  Young And Restless was the band's first release with Capitol Records following GRT's bankruptcy.  The title track is a youth anthem that was released in 1980 and garnered them Juno nominations for both album and group of the year.  They won the Juno for the latter that year.  The band would go through some line up changes following this album and their album sales suffered as a result.  It would lead to a brief break up before the band resumed playing together again in the early nineties.  Today, only one of the original members (Al Harlow) remains and he is keeping the fire alive.  Prism released a new album in 2008 and the band continues to play shows.  They appear to be playing this summer at various venues across Alberta and British Columbia.  You can keep track of them at  The album, Young And Restless, can be downloaded from Itunes or purchased from the band's website.  The title track is also available on numerous retrospectives that have been released of the band's work.  You can hear the song, Young And Restless, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Artist: Rebecca Campbell, Album: Tug, Song: Stumble

Rebecca Campbell is a singer and multi-instrumentalist from Ottawa, Ontario.  She started her career in music during the mid eighties and by 1987, fronted her first band, Fat Man Waving.  They were a collective of local musicians that played very eclectic music.  They released three albums, toured Canada and the U.S. and were signed briefly to Aquarius/EMI for their last release in 1995.  Rebecca had many projects through the eighties and nineties that sort of overlapped each other.  She played in Jane Siberry's band and was a member of an a capella band called Three Sheets To The Wind.  In 1999, she began collaborating with a man named Justin Haynes which would yield her debut, Tug, as well as a sophomore album in 2002.  Fiddle player, Oliver Schroer (see blog 4/8/11), plays on this album as well.  Stumble is a groovy tune from her debut release.  Rebecca now sings with a band called Pork Belly Futures and you can follow them at  You can hear the song, Stumble, on You Tube (  Her discography is a difficult find today.  At the time of this blog, there were copies of Tug trading on Amazon between $5 and $50.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Artist: Tristan Psionic, Album: The Sounds Of Tristan Psionic, Song: Let It Go

Tristan Psionic were a rock band from Hamilton, Ontario that began recording in the early nineties.  The Sounds Of Tristan Psionic, was their debut release in 1994.  It was released on indie label, Sonic Unyon Records, which the band owned and operated.  They were Sandy McIntosh, Mark Milne, Gary McMaster and Tim Potocic.  Sonic Unyon remains today, however the band doesn't.  They packed it in following their third release in 2000.  The label has played a pivotal role in bringing alternative rock from the underground to the mainstream.  Since their inception, they have represented Canadian bands like Hayden, Eric's Trip, hHead, Treble Charger, Sianspheric (see blog 1/17/11), Tricky Woo (see blog 2/4/11), Young Rival (see blog 4/19/11) and Thrush Hermit (see blog 9/5/10) to name a few.  They have also released albums from other international artists like the Pixies, Crooked Fingers and Death Cab For Cutie.  These guys are quite ambitious and it's amazing that they found time to release albums of their own.  Let It Go is a wonderful power pop nugget from their first release.  You can hear the song on You Tube (  The album is available for download on Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Artist: Mystery Machine, Album: Glazed, Song: Shaky Ground

"This house is built on shaky ground but it's standing up okay, alright now."  Mystery Machine were a four piece band from Vancouver.  They signed with Nettwerk Records and released their debut, Glazed, in 1992.  Shaky Ground is the opening track.  It's a power pop gem with relentless guitars and great harmonies.  The band fit neatly into the grunge scene that was in full swing and complemented an already strong contingent of up and coming Canadian bands that were beginning to surface.  Specifically like Sloan, who had released their own album, Smeared, that same year.  The band was Jordan Pratt, Luke Rogalsky, Shane Ward and Bean.  They would go on to release their sophomore album in 1995 and later, their final release in 1998.  The band went on hiatus rather than breaking up.  In recent years, they have reformed and appear to have the foundation of a potential 6 song EP ready for release.  You can follow them at  All of the band's releases are available for download on Itunes.  You can hear the song, Shaky Ground, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Artist: Ghettosocks, Album: I Can Make Your Dog Famous, Song: Ballz In Yo Stomach

"Ten fingers in your ass like a peacock tail."  Ghettosocks is a hip hop artist based in Halifax, Nova Scotia.  He released his debut album in 2006 and to date, has four releases to his name.  He not only performs, but as well, handles all or most of the production for his albums.  He has even lent his production and mic skills to other hip hop albums from artists like Word Burglar (see blog 12/14/10) and More Or Less & Fresh Kils (see blog 8/27/10).  I Can Make Your Dog Famous was his second album from 2008.  It is a mixtape compiled and produced in partnership with DJ Jorun Bombay.  Ballz In Yo Stomach is a comical yet explicit track from that release which features fellow Canadian rappers, Timbuktu and Pip Skid (see blog 9/23/10).  Ghettosocks released his latest album in 2010 which garnered him Rap Single Of The Year at the East Coast Music Awards.  He has also just completed a tour of Europe and is finalizing plans for his upcoming Canadian tour.  You can hear the song, Ballz In Yo Stomach, on You Tube (  You can purchase this album on Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!